The Conservative leadership is keen to win the backing of The Sun ahead of the next election but national security issues threaten a Tory-Murdoch reconciliation. When Messrs Cameron and Davis voted against Labour’s 90 day detention plans the two Davids were dubbed Dumb & Dumber by Britain’s best-selling newspaper.
In an article for today’s Sunday Telegraph Mr Cameron attempts to re-establish his homeland security credentials. The Conservative leader argues that there is no contradiction between “security and freedom” or “toughness and liberalism”. He accuses Labour of playing political games over the glorification clause of the Terrorism Bill and with ID cards:
“Mr Blair and Mr Brown are persisting with ID cards not because they will be an effective check on terrorism, but because they think they sound tough.”
Mr Cameron offers two main alternatives to Labour’s “ineffective authoritarianism”:
- Diversion of the billions that will be “wasted” on ID cards into “measures that will protect our security today”. Those, he writes, include “proper border controls, more resources for the security services, [and] more police.”
- More enforcement of existing laws. The Conservative leader asks why it took Labour so long to act against Abu Hamza. A leader in The Sunday Telegraph agrees that this is the right question to ask. It concludes:
“There are already enough laws on the statute books to tackle Islamic terrorism. The Government has not been prepared to use them. Only by confronting the radical Islamists head-on, and forging a united front with other European nations to defend the values of a liberal and tolerant society, can we defeat the extremists. The problem is that this Government has not yet proved willing to do it.”